GREENVILLE CO. S.C. (WSPA) – Members of the community are continuing their efforts, expressing concerns with the Greenville County Library Board over a tabled decision back in March to remove certain books from the children’s sections of all Greenville County libraries.
In March, the board unanimously voted to relocate books that “depict rape, pedophilia, and graphic sex” to the adult section of the library.
They tabled the decision to do the same with books in the children and young adult section that discuss gender identity.
Those on both sides of the issue have continued to show up each month expressing their concerns.
“Those kinds of books don’t need to be moved to the adult section of the library,” Susan Ward, President Of PFLAG Greenville, LGBTQ+Advocacy Organization said. “They are picture books for children. They are not harmful. They reflect the reality of our community.”
Those in support of the LGBTQ+ community have started a petition.
They are urging Greenville County Council to appoint board members who will adhere to the South Carolina State Library Trustees Code of Ethics, comply with Greenville County personnel policies, and serve the library’s mission.
The petition also calls for the removal of library board chairman Allan Hill.
Others in favor of the books being removed spoke in support of those on the library board.
“The library is a place that is to be welcoming for all, all ages, all backgrounds, all faiths, all people,” a man in favor of the books being moved said. “It is not to be a location where people come and are exposed to radical ideas that undermine the very foundation of our society and our families.”
Those in support of the books staying, like Susan Ward, feel the removal of the books is an attack on families like hers.
“As the parent of a transgender child it hurts me personally,” Ward said. “I take it personally to hear things such as what was said today about how the existence of my child is something that is too terrible for his children to hear about.”
Those in support of the books being moved said the library should not force or encourage the exploration of one’s sexuality in books or displays, especially for young children.
“When I was a child I would visit the library, there were all sorts of resources about family, marriage, sexuality,” the man said. “None of them were obscene, vulgar, political, and radical. I am afraid there are pressures upon all of you to embrace different ideas that would treat sexuality as if it were not something to be respected, honored, and dignified.”
The board did not comment on concerns raised at the meeting.